A Degree of Difference

"I like to keep it interesting and have something different and new every day.” – Maurizio Miglietta (D.O. ’96)

Maurizio Miglietta (D.O. ’96) knows all too well how split-second decisions can make the difference between life and death. Having survived a jetliner crash, being run over by a car, and escaping a gas explosion all by the age of 10, the 41- year-old physician, entrepreneur, and father of three has spent his career thinking one step ahead.

Miglietta recently left his position as chief of acute care surgery at New York- Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center to spend more time with his family in New Jersey and develop several business ventures centered on trauma and emergency care.

In 2004, Miglietta founded the Homeland Security Mobile Trauma Unit (MTU), which provides immediate surgical and mobile operating room capabilities and medical support to law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Secret Service and Department of State Diplomatic Security Service. With more than 50 specialized volunteers trained in the use of biological, chemical, and nuclear protective equipment, the MTU has been employed during national security events such as the Papal visit to New York City, U.S. presidential travels, and the annual United Nations General Assembly.

Miglietta also serves as police surgeon for the Secret Service’s New York field office, which became the impetus for his first for-profit enterprise, Tactical Medical Packs, founded in 2007. A Secret Service agent approached Miglietta to develop a medical kit he could carry in his suit pocket for use in worst-case scenarios, and Miglietta, understanding the value of immediate medical attention, responded by creating a prototype of what would become the TAC-PACK— complete with a CPR micro-shield, bandages, gauze, tape, abdominal pad, respirator mask, occlusive dressing, and latex-free gloves. There are now six trauma packs available for groups ranging from military personnel to law enforcement agencies to outdoor sports enthusiasts. The pocket-sized packs have been sold around the world, and sales last year were upwards of $2 million.

“I felt it was my responsibility as a physician to always be prepared,” he says. “If something happens in front of me, everything I need to save someone’s life is in my pocket. There’s no excuse not to carry it.”

Another business Miglietta is developing is Global Medical Guardians, a for-profit service offering full-service emergency care and risk management solutions, including international medical air transportation services, for clients across the globe. The company, which he launched in 2008, has provided medical care to the New York Mets, dignitaries, celebrities, and other highprofile VIPs.

“My mind allows me to multitask pretty successfully,” he says of his many ventures. “I like to keep it interesting and fresh and to have something different and new every day.”

With unflagging energy, Miglietta also lectures to medical and non-medical professionals, serves on speakers’ bureaus and advisory boards for various pharmaceutical companies, and is the new director of medical education at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine for Palisades Medical Center, Holy Name Medical Center, and Englewood Hospital Medical Center. He is also the author of more than 30 peer-reviewed publications, is board certified in surgery and critical care, is the honorary police surgeon for the New York City Police Department, has received national law enforcement awards, and in 2008 was named one of Crain’s Business’ “Forty Under 40.”

And it all began, he says, with his NYCOM education. “I always felt on par or better than anyone else I ever trained with,” he says. “It gave me everything I needed to succeed.”

Kathryn Stroppel is a writer and editor living in north Missouri. She has worked for health care organizations and health sciences universities for nearly 20 years and is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

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